Thomas Brothers is now Pico Propane. Learn More →

I’ve Run Out of Propane! Do I Need a Leak Test?

Mandatory Leak Checks Are All About Safety…It’s Also the Law.

propane leak testLife is hectic. It’s easy to lose track and forget to check your tank gauges or to order propane. While running out of propane can be a big inconvenience, it doesn’t seem like it should be a such big deal. That’s why customers often ask why we must perform—and charge them for—a safety check when they’ve let their propane tank hit empty. Can’t we just fill up the tank and be on our way? Not exactly.

The Necessity of Propane Leak Testing

It’s about safety. All propane piping and fittings are coated with a pipe-joint compound to seal connections and prevent leaks. But if the pressure changes in the lines—as happens when you run out of fuel—there is the possibility that the joint compound could contract and create a leak. While propane is completely safe under most conditions, it can be highly flammable, so leaking propane lines can be dangerous.

As a result, we perform a pressure test to make sure everything is operating safely when we refill your tank after a runout. These pressure tests are also required by state and federal law, as well as insurance rules. According to the National Fuel Gas code, a licensed professional must perform a leak test:

Avoiding a Runout

  1. The best way to avoid the hassle of runouts and the cost of a leak test is to sign up for our Automatic Delivery service. Pico Propane customers love this option because it’s 100% FREE to enroll and it makes propane deliveries so easy. We use our computer algorithms that track your fuel usage alongside the real-time weather conditions to accurately predict when to schedule your delivery…so you never run out.

    Another benefit of Automatic Delivery service? It helps us plan delivery routes for maximum efficiency, which helps us keep costs down for you!

  2. If your propane use isn’t very consistent, we can’t use our algorithm to predict your needs. Maybe you travel often, or it’s a second home or a rental property, which means your propane use fluctuates. That’s when the real-time accuracy of our Otodata wireless propane tank monitor is the best option.

    Wireless tank monitors track the level of propane in your tank in real-time and transmit your usage via wireless cellular technology. When the tank gauge reaches a pre-set level, the monitor alerts us—and you—directly via the wireless mobile app.

  3. You can opt for will-call propane deliveries, but you need to monitor your tank levels. Keep an eye on your tank, and call when you have NO LESS THAN A QUARTER TANK (25%) REMAINING. That ensures we can get you on the schedule and make a delivery in plenty of time. If you run out of propane, we will have to perform and charge you for a test.

Whether it’s reliable deliveries, prompt service, or smart ways to manage fuel costs, homeowners and businesses in Alamance, Caswell, Orange, Person, and Rockingham Counties in North Carolina, and Nottoway, Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Prince Edward in Virginia trust Pico Propane for a reason.

Contact us today to learn more.